Smoke rose after a strike on Tuesday at a Russian military base near Novofedorivka, Crimea. Ukraine is exploiting its new capacity to strike deep behind enemy lines to deplete Russia's combat potential.
The Ukrainians are depleting Russia's combat potential, slowing its advance in the east and creating new vulnerabilities in the south, as well as slowing its advance behind enemy lines.
KYIV, Ukraine - Despite suffering grievous losses over nearly six months of war, Russia still holds a distinct advantage over Ukraine in a head-to- head fight featuring brutal artillery battles. Ukraine s military has achieved a new battlefield success, waging the war on its own terms. Ukraine has been able to attack Russian forces deep behind enemy lines, disrupting critical supply lines and, increasingly, striking targets that are key to Moscow's combat potential, because of a growing arsenal of long-range Western weapons and aided by local fighters known as partisans. A Ukrainian official said this week that a series of explosions at an air base in the occupied Crimean peninsula had resulted in a strike carried out by special forces troops aided by local partisan fighters, and that at least eight warplanes were killed.
The Ukrainians claimed to have hit the last of those four key bridges, leaving thousands of Russian troops in danger of being isolated and cut off from resupply, according to Western intelligence officials. The defense minister of Ukraine, Oleksii Reznikov, said in an interview with Pravda, a Ukrainian news media outlet, that we do not have the resources to litter the territory with bodies and shells. It is necessary to change tactics, to fight in a different way. The strategy seems to be producing some results. While the Ukrainian military has not made major territorial gains, it has managed to slow down Russian advance across the country, and stanch the heavy losses that Ukraine was suffering in recent months, which has led to wavering morale and some soldiers even deserting their platoons.
Russia, initially able to take advantage of its superiority in numbers and firepower, had to wear down the Ukrainian troops with relentless artillery barrages before moving to seize territory, with its wide, flat plains. Ukraine has been able to slow Russia s advance and divert some attention to what Ukraine s generals see as more advantageous territory in the south thanks to the new longer-range artillery pieces, like the American-made High Mobility Artillery Rocket System or HIMARS.
On Saturday, Serhii Khlan, an adviser to the head of the Kherson region's military administration, said on Facebook that the destruction of the last remaining bridge over the Dnipro River was part of Ukraine's strategy to frustrate Russian forces. They will try to repair, look for an alternative in the crossings, he said. It is time, money, and then as soon as they gain equipment and strength, we will destroy it again. Ukrainian commanders say the idea is to make conditions so untenable that Russia withdraws from Dnipro on its own in the face of the expected Ukrainian counterattack. Our soldiers are inventive and progressive, while the Russians are working by the book, deploying battle formations as it was laid out in the Soviet Union, Vitaliy Kim, head of the Mykolaiv region's military administration, said in an interview last week. Our guys have read this book and understand it perfectly, and are using it for their own goals.